Flanders Make on Virtual Industry Fair 4.0
The Virtual Industry Fair 4.0 is made of 4 elements:
- On the mainstage keynote speakers will present their inspiring visions. Following speakers have already confirmed their participation:
- Dirk Torfs (CEO Flanders Make);
- Jonathan Berte (CEO and founder Robovision);
- Geert Jacobs (Expert Innovation Factory of the Future at Agoria);
- Bram Vandenborght, professor robotics at VUB.
- Webinars in which the exhibitors present the business cases of their product or service. During the webinars, visitors will be presenting live via camera or chat.
- Each exhibitor also has a virtual stand. There products can be shown, demos can be given and visitors can talk to the exhibitors live via a video connection.
- The fourth element is the Network Lounge. Visitors can network here with other visitors they happen to meet, just like at other fairs. Everyone who logs in can introduce themselves to the other for three to five minutes. Then they decide whether or not to exchange contact details and move on to the next visitor.
Flanders Make takes part in this online exhibition. Our CEO, Dirk Torfs, is one of the keynote speakers. Futhermore, the Cotemaco-project, in which Flanders Make has a prominent role, will man a virtual booth.
More about Cotemaco
The manufacturing industry in North-West Europe is struggling with competition from mass production in low-wage countries. In addition, SMEs also face problems on the labour market. For example, finding good workers is becoming increasingly difficult as the work is often considered repetitive and physically demanding, often leaving the worker's full potential untapped. In order to improve competitiveness, our production will have to be more flexible. This can be achieved by using collaborative robotics (cobots).
Collaborative robotics (cobots) potentially have a greater impact on the manufacturing industry than 3D printing or the Internet of Things (McKinsey, 2013), and focuses on optimal cooperation between man and machine, in contrast to previous generations of production automation. This technology enables a much more efficient use of employee potential (+85%, MIT); it makes work healthier/safer and leads to higher employee motivation.
COTEMACO realizes and bundles 4 field labs in NL, UK, BE and DE that demonstrate each specific process step in the vehicle components and food sectors leading to more awareness and more tangible knowledge in manufacturing SMEs in NWE. By testing in these field labs and letting maak-KMOs experience how collaborative robotics can work in settings that are recognizable to them, the barrier to innovation adoption is lowered. In the field labs the management of SMEs interacts with partners from the regional manufacturing economy: schools, trade unions and technical institutions.
COTEMACO will involve 60 automotive and food SME's in the field labs through a voucher program; 50 of them will eventually adopt collaborative robotics with an international component. The project will retain >€500M NWE manufacturing industry turnover and >1250 jobs and generate >€50M new turnover and >125 jobs. Replication of these effects to other sectors and regions will ensure the viability of the field labs through public and private funding.